Educators and Industry come together

IN-MaC Pathways System Summit Brings Educators and Industry Together to Take Students from High School to High-Paying Careers

70 partners gathered to collaborate on best practices in building Indiana’s future workforce. 

WEST LAFAYETTE, IN – The Purdue University Indiana Next Generation Manufacturing Competitiveness Center (IN-MaC) brought more than 70 influential industry and education partners together recently to empower critical workforce pathways for manufacturers in Indiana and across the nation. 

IN-MaC is committed to shaping Indiana’s future workforce through impactful manufacturing/STEM initiatives. Manufacturing is emphasized due to its vital role in driving Indiana’s economic growth and prosperity. By creating exciting, intentional pathways that take high schoolers from hands-on opportunities in the classroom to the manufacturing floor, IN-MaC is helping to build a robust pipeline for the future workforce. 

“Throughout Indiana and multiple states, we are developing pathways system programs that are showcasing high tech, high paying careers in students’ communities,” said Lisa Deck, Program Manager for IN MaC Workforce and Education. “This summit celebrates our partners’ successes, highlights best practices, and establishes paths forward for communities wanting to build similar programs.” 

Learning opportunities at the summit included implementing manufacturing academies, creating learning cultures within manufacturing facilities, and connecting resources from Design & Innovation Studios to the academies. Speakers from Indiana detailed best practices, lessons learned, and outlined what is next. More than 70 education and industry participants from across Indiana attended the IN-MaC Pathways System Event at Purdue’s Indiana Manufacturing Institute. 

“The event epitomized innovation and ingenuity, setting the stage for a brighter future in the manufacturing sector,” said Lezlie Winter, Superintendent of Mississinewa Community Schools. “Attendees embraced the newfound knowledge and strategies, knowing we are equipping the next generation with the tools they need to thrive. Together, we are building a solid foundation for the future of manufacturing.” 

There are currently 15 pathway programs in Indiana, West Virginia, Mississippi, and Kentucky, and one is in development. There are 36 industry partners, including Toyota of America, Honda Indiana, West Virginia University Medical, and many others (complete list included below). 

 “Through this summit, I have extreme confidence in both the educators in the room and the industry partners coming to the table to help students of the future pave the way for successful careers in manufacturing,” said Ryan Christner, Supply Chain & Logistics Manager for Medartis, Inc. “I look forward to following these pathways system academies to see how they impact the families in their communities by providing the training needed for a brighter future filled with possibilities!” 

 Planning for the 2024 Pathways System Summit is already underway. To learn more about the pathways system program, email Lisa Deck at

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